Kauf and Kingsbury lead charge into Tremblant moguls World Cup

19 January 2018 23:39
Mikael Kingsbury in Tremblant training
Mikael Kingsbury in Tremblant training -
Freestyle Canada

Tremblant (CAN) - With the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games rapidly approaching, the FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup rolls into Tremblant, Quebec - arguably the heart of Canadian moguls skiing - for the the first World Cup competition at the resort in 13 years and the last event before the world’s top moguls athletes head off to the Games in Korea. 

With a full day of qualifications, beginning at 8:45 EST, and finals, beginning at 13:30, hitting the renowned Quebecois resort on Saturday, expect the ladies’ and men of the moguls World Cup to put on an exceptional show as they look to lock down Olympic spots and head into the Games on a high.

Quebec has long been the locus of Canadian moguls skiing, producing some of the greats of the sport in the past and of the present, including four of the six medal winners at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. 

Three of those medallists will be on hand to compete at Tremblant, with two of them being Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, who famously took gold and silver, respectively, at the Sochi 2014 Games in Russia. With both also scoring world championships gold in the past - Justine in the single moguls at Kreischberg 2015, Chloe in the dual moguls at Voss-Myrkdalen 2013 - they are two of the most decorated skiers to come out of Quebec.

 

 

 

However, top spot on the World Cup circuit is currently held by the USA’s Jaelin Kauf, as the 21-year-old comes into Tremblant fresh off a two podium performance on home soil in Deer Valley, including a win at the second of the back-to-back competitions there. Now with four podiums and 420 points on the season, Kauf sits 51 points ahead of second-overall Perrine Laffont (FRA) and her 369 points, while last season’s crystal globe winner Britteny Cox (AUS) lurks just behind Laffont with 342 credits to her name in the tightly-packed ladies standings.

With Laffont also coming off a win in Deer Valley at the first of the two competitions there, and Cox taking the previous World Cup win in Calgary (CAN), and those three top athletes owning 50% of the seasons 18 ladies podium places so far between them, the battle for this season’s crystal globe appears to be a three horse race with five competitions left in the 2017/18 season.

Kingsbury looks to make it a full year on top of the World Cup podium

The third Sochi medalist mention above is none other than Quebec’s favourite son and the man who is absolutely stealing the show on the moguls World Cup tour once again this season, as Mikael Kingsbury seems incapable of doing anything but win, win, and win. And, with another one in Tremblant on Saturday, the 25-year-old could make it an entire calendar year of World Cup victories. 

Having won all six 2017/18 competitions thus far, he has now taken 13 in a row dating back to February 2, 2017 and 48 in his career - both of which are records that continue to grow with each new triumph. The silver medallist to teammate Alex Bilodeau at the Sochi 2014 Games, to call Kingsbury the “favourite” heading into this weekend’s competition in Tremblant, and then on into the year’s big competition at PyeongChang 2018, seems like a criminal understatement. 

Perhaps lost in the hubbub surrounding Mikael Kingsbury this year is the career-best season currently being enjoyed by Dmitriy Reikherd of Kazakhstan. Having made super finals in all but one 2017/18 competition and earning four second-place results behind Kingsbury in that time, 29-year-old Reikherd is giving the Canadian as much as he can handle so far this season, and it is fun to watch.

Others to watch on the men’s side this weekend in Tremblant include third overall Matt Graham (AUS), who also earned some podium time in Deer Valley, as well as Sho Endo, leader of the impressive Japanese team, and Jaewoo Choi, who likely represents the host nation’s best chance at scoring a Freestyle medal at the upcoming Games in Korea. 

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